Fueling up in Monterey we said good bye to this marvelous city and waved at the sea otters and hundreds of pelicans as we rounded the jetty.
We faced big waves and lots of wind getting out of Monterey Bay and turning South we entered the no wind zone. So we motored for the next 24 hours sharing watches and sleep. We got to Morro Bay where we thought we would anchor but decided to just keep going another 12 hours. By our calculations we would reach Point Conception (Google it it was a boogie man) @1-2 am when it looked to be the calmest.
This changed as the wind and waves changed in a hurry. We had very confused 10-12 foot seas with every once in a while 15+ footer. Confused seas basically means the waves are coming from different directions, the swell is something else, and then there is the wind to deal with. It’s been described as being in a cocktail shaker. We had to hand steer through this as auto pilots give up at this point and say it’s yours!
Usually as we sail (full sails up) we have a speed of 5-7 knots. We were going 7-10 with a tiny scrap of sail up. The small amount of sail is just used to try and get some control of the boat rather than having no sail up at all. T
At this speed we were going to round the cape way to early. We could not sail back and forth to waste the time as the conditions were too rough. We could heave-to (sail configuration which allows the sailboat to slow down and sit comfortably in rough seas ) but the conditions that way were not manageable unless absolutely necessary.
This is now another 10 hours (36 total) of sailing and we still have to round the cape.
Our crew mate Don from Seattle to San Fran had just sent an email of his sailing adventure 🇬🇷 Greece with his lovely wife Debbie and 3 other couples. When I was not on watch (every 45 minutes) I read this out loud trying to keep the atmosphere calm.
As we rounded the point at 9:30 pm we had full gale force winds (30+knots) and waves that looked like frothing horses wild and white. The moon was nearly full and coming around the point we both instantly felt a 15-20 degree shift in temperature of the wind. Southern California at last.
Our eyes were now on anchoring at Cojo another mile away. This is a haven for sailors coming North as they can wait out weather, days if needs be. It was going to be our haven for the night. We got in at 10:30pm and had to try 3 times to anchor. When the anchoring was done we had a great discussion with John (Jameson whiskey) and slept very well.